In the last few years we’ve been treated to several Peter Forsberg comebacks, several Peter Forsberg retirement rumours, several other Peter Forsberg comebacks and a sudden actual retirement. While the road to retirement was difficult for Forsberg the player, we have to imagine it will be a bit easier for his number.

The Avalanche plan to send Forsberg’s number 21 into the rafters at their 2011-2012 season opener against Detroit on October 8, 2011.

It seems fitting that the jersey retirement comes against the Red Wings, as some of Forsberg’s greatest moments came during the legendary Colorado-Detroit rivalry of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It’s obviously debatable, but there was a point in time when you could say that Peter Forsberg was the best player in the world. He combined a strong physical presence with great skating, stick handling and vision. He was almost as likely to throw a big hit as he was to make an excellent pass.

Forsberg won the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy in 2003 when he recorded 103 points in 75 games. His career high single-season point total was 116 in 1996. He also had a plus-minus rating of +238. The only year he was a minus was during his two-game comeback last season.

Forsberg won two Stanley Cups with Colorado, in 1996 and 2001. He also appeared in this commercial:

If that doesn’t get your number retired, we’re not sure what does.

The Avalanche have retired the numbers of Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque in the past, though the Roy and – especially – the Bourque retirements drew some criticism.

Before moving to Colorado, the Quebec Nordiques retired the numbers of Peter Stastny, Michel Goulet, Marc Tardif and J.C. Tremblay as well.

Unfortunately, injuries prevent Forsberg from achieving even more glory in the NHL. However, there’s no debating what he meant to the Avanlanche franchise. His jersey definitely deserves to be hung in their arena.